Managed Services Summit Europe 2019

European managed services event shows new customer relationship focus

The third annual Managed Services and Hosting summit this week in Amsterdam revealed a sector revelling in its success, but being pulled in multiple directions. Several surveys discussed for the first time at the event point to continuing growth in what is a maturing industry, but issues remain on customer relationship management, security and a lack of skilled resources.

Managed Services Providers are facing an increasingly complex customer set, advised Mark Paine of Gartner in the first keynote. The complexity of the customer buying process, with many individuals involved at various levels, has increased the length of the sales cycle to double that of customers’ expectations, though recent evidence shows it shortening again as MSPs get more sophisticated. The trust that both MSPs and customers look to achieve is possible, but IT service suppliers need to work on their authenticity. “Find out who your prospects trust and make sure they know about you,” he says, “while you work to reposition your company and create authentic stories.”

The issue of trust came up later in the day with the first airing of the Barracuda MSP Day report on what MSPs think about customer relationships. This showed that Customer misconception was identified as a barrier by the largest group of channel partners (89% of the sample). This seems to be down to a view among customers that managed services provision removes their responsibilities for their networks, security and disaster recovery. “MSPs need to spell out the limits of their responsibilities, and the industry as a whole should work to educate its customer base on what is possible,” says Jason Howells, international director of Barracuda MSP. “The perceived lack of trust in MSP security was reported by more than three quarters of respondents.”

He reported that network management had risen to the top of the list of services offered by MSPs, with email second, again based on security and reliability issues. And in a change from recent reports of high levels of competition in the market, the MSPs were positive: 73 percent concede there are “still plenty of opportunities out there.”

There were plenty of discussions around the technologies – management issues have moved from data backup to hybrid cloud management, with sponsor Datto in particular positioning its new offerings in network management alongside disaster recovery. Security issues for MSPs played a strong part in Eric Torres’ presentation. As a former MSP owner and now Datto’s channel development manager, he highlighted the increasing likelihood of ransomware attacks on customers of all types. Only a multiple location backup and reporting strategy would help overcome this, he explained.

On the technology theme, author Igor Pejic from BNP Paribas AT told the conference about the opportunities and challenges represented by blockchain, fast moving through financial services to other industries, before signing copies of his book “Blockchain Babel” which was given free to all attendees.

The rate of innovation in managed services is one of the forces behind the high level of merger and acquisition activity in the sector, Jonathan Simnett, director of tech M&A specialists Hampleton Partners told the conference. “M&A peaks when disruption is taking place,” he said. The established incumbents also know they need to move quickly, so they look to buy. For MSPs in particular he advised, one of the best things to develop to build value is some form of uniqueness, especially intellectual property.

The specialisation theme was continued in many of the other presentations, where technology vendors and distributors set out offerings designed to support the MSPs in becoming more efficient.

08:30 Registration Opens
09:15 Welcome & Opening Remarks
09:25 Working with customers and their chaotic buying processes
Mark Paine, Research Director, Gartner Research
Mark will present the Gartner view on how the changed customer buying process has become hard to monitor and follow and can be abruptly fore-shortened. “Who are the real customers anyway?” he will ask, using research into changing buying processes.
09:50 The message behind blockchain
Igor Pejic, Head of Marketing, BNP Paribas PF AT
Academic and financial industry expert Igor Pejic from BNP Paribas is the author of “Blockchain Babel”, just selected as a book of the month by the FT. With his deep understanding of the blockchain model, he will explain its relationship with the IT industry and with managed services in particular, providing the background to his book and explaining that it is not just banking that will be affected. Managed services’ customers in every industry, especially those with a supply chain, will be asking questions about the implications of blockchain.
  Every attendee will receive a free copy of Igor's book.
10:15 Panel Session Tim Meredith, Chief Commercial Officer of OnApp; Eric Torres, Channel Development Manager at Datto; Jay Gill, Senior Director of Marketing, Pluribus Networks
10:45 Coffee Break
11:15 The empire strikes back: how to make hyperscale work for you, not against you
Tim Meredith, Chief Commercial Officer, OnApp
We’ve put a lot of trust in the hyperscale cloud providers and given them unprecedented access to our customers and their data. Now that data is being used against us in a war for additional revenue streams. Is it possible to use hyperscale and still be able to rebel in the future?
11:35 Grow your business, without scaling your IT teams
Mark Arts, Senior Sales Engineer, StackState
Join this talk and learn how Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations enables your IT teams to become more efficient, productive and save time while increasing the quality of service.
11:55 Grow your bottom line by partnering with Datto to offer your clients Business Continuity and Networking solutions
Eric Torres, Channel Development Manager, Datto
Join us in this educational session as we review the Datto solution offerings and breakdown the top successful tools and advantages of the Datto partnership, designed to truly grow your business. Learn about the free sales tools available to all, including a robust marketing automation platform, to help grow your Business Continuity, Networking and Managed Services offerings.
12:15 Q&A Session
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Building and realizing business value in uncertain times
Jonathan Simnett from Hampleton Partners
As well as external, customer facing issues, this is a fast-changing industry with a wave of start-ups, merger and acquisition activity, consolidation and buyouts. The smart money is still looking to invest in managed services companies as part of the wider IT marketplace. Jonathon will present an essential report on who is buying what and why in the sector, entitled: “Building and realizing business value in uncertain times.” In this he will give expert advice on “what your business should be doing next”, this will include “How to tell if it’s a good time to put your managed services business on the market”, which managed services segments are currently in demand and the values are they realizing. He is in a commanding position to say what the smart money looks for in acquiring technology companies and the steps management teams can take to achieve the best valuation for their company. He will explain what a transaction process involves and how long it takes.
13:55 The Evolving Landscape of the MSP Business
Jason Howells, Director, International MSP Business, Barracuda MSP
Coincidentally the 23rd May celebrates the second annual MSP day, and in light of this Jason will be discussing the findings from the recent Evolving Landscape of the MSP Business report. The annual MSP Day initiative aims to create an interactive and connected community with the unified purpose of making managed services more understandable, trustworthy, and significant. Jason will cover the most notable findings from the report as well as providing advice on how MSPs can get together to share success, best practice and insights in order to give businesses in EMEA the best possible experience of managed IT services.
14:20 Going Open to Win: How to turn your data center network into a competitive advantage
Jay Gill, Senior Director of Marketing, Pluribus Networks
Are your managed hosting and cloud services being held back by your data center network? In the fast-evolving world of managed hybrid cloud/multi-cloud services, you need to turn your network into a competitive advantage and a revenue enabler. Open networking and SDN can not only eliminate vendor lock-in and lower costs, they can help you simplify and automate operations across geographically distributed data centers and enable you deliver services that are simply better: faster to provision, more innovative, more reliable and more secure.
14:40 Coffee Break
15:00 How to Wow Your Customers and Make More Money Through As-a-Service
Raymond Parkinson, Regional Channel Director, ConnectWise
Technology Service Providers spend a lot of time focusing on the technology you provide, because that’s what you love. But, it’s more important than ever the industry to put their focus on the customer over the technology. Hear from ConnectWise experts on how to get started on transitioning to the As-a-Service model; and how to make the transition a successful one.
Maximising opportunities in the high growth Managed Security Services Market
David Ellis, VP Security and Mobility Services Europe at Tech Data
This session will cover a high-level view of the key drivers in the market, areas for MSPs to consider and how they can partner with Tech Data to capitalise on the high growth market.
15:20 Building a Leaner, Fitter, Smarter MSP
Alex Ford, Sales Director EMEA, IT Glue
Building an efficient MSP in today’s rapidly evolving world is quite the challenge. Join Alex Ford to discover how adopting great documentation practices could have a resounding impact on your MSP and see the bottom line soar.
Cybercrime is constantly evolving, is your email defence?
Brian Byrne, Head of Global Sales. The Email Laundry
Cyber criminals are on a contact cycle of innovation and so are we. Join us for this session as we share some of the tales from the front line of email security. What have been the most effective campaigns in 2018 and what does 2019 look like? What does CEO fraud 2.0 look like? What is the real risk to your clients' businesses? And most importantly are you confident of getting your customers to a better security posture.
15:40 Own the Network: Network Management for MSPs
Scott Tyson, Managing Director, EMEA, Auvik Networks
In today’s cloud-dominated world, the network is more important to your clients than ever—it’s the gateway to everything they need. So clients want you to own the network—to take full responsibility for keeping them connected. In this session, we’ll walk you through exactly what it takes to own a client network, some of the challenges you’ll face in doing so, and ways to overcome those challenges. You’ll learn how to make network management an efficient and cost-effective part of your MSP business, turning clients into raving fans along the way.
Data threat prevention is not enough
Jean Vangramberen, EMEA Regional Sales Director
Martin Pesa, Pre-sales engineer from Carbonite
When your data is hacked or encrypted, it is important that business can continue while IT solves the security breaches. Sometimes you just wish you could go back in time and undo the harm that was caused by a security breach in your network or your hardware including endpoint devices and your data center. Carbonite makes it possible to go back to a time where the data was unharmed and running smoothly with near zero downtime preventing you from losing important data. As cyber-crime and user failure keep increasing the risk of business being disrupted, the business opportunity for backup and recovery continues to be a rising investment for organizations. #dataprotection #datalosspreventation
15:40 Q&A Session Q&A Session
16:15 Networking Drinks
17:00 End of Summit

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